Originally Posted by czgibson
The substance of this seems simply to be that a palindrome occurs in the middle of a text. Is this considered noteworthy or impressive in some way?
Perhaps you can stand up and speak and in the middle of your speech, you will say a sentence that will read the same back and forth without the statement taking anything away from the coherence of your speech. What are the chances of that?
A literary device was discovered after a text's composition. Again, is this considered noteworthy or impressive in some way? If so, why?
Because it shows two things,
1) That it's not the main focus of the Book and as such is something complementary. The palindrome is not the reason the Qur'an is literary miracle, that has to do with other things as mentioned in an earlier post by Qatada.
2) That it shows that Messenger was illiterate. He didn't know that it just so happened that there was a palindrome in one of the verses he spoke.
OK then. I'll try to take them one at a time.
This should be interesting.
First of all, let's take a look at the meaning of the word 'miracle'. Its primary meaning is given by most dictionaries along these lines:
I hope I can safely assume that people do not refer to the linguistic features of the Qur'an as 'miracles' in the much weaker sense that ordinary events that are perceived to be wonderful (such as childbirth) are sometimes described as 'miracles'.
And let's make it clear that what are being highlighted here are only isolated examples from the Qur'an. They appear constantly and flawlessly through 114 chapters, 6000+ verses without a break. We have yet to find someone who can come up with a single chapter that meets same literary magnificience of the Qur'an.
Also let's keep in mind a maxim amongst the Arabs:
خَيْرُ الكلامِ ما قَلَّ ودَلَّ
The best of speech is that which has the fewest words while retaining the desired meaning
First of all, I don't think this summarises my life at all.
Suppose that I did feel this verse summarised my life well - would that make it a miracle? If it did, that make many other texts miraculous as well. For example, here is Jaques' famous 'Seven Ages of Man' speech from Shakespeare's As You Like It
, which attempts the same thing:
And this exactly shows why you should not be commenting on something you don't understand in the original language. The miracle here is not just that a verse gives the life story, rather it's the language used to portray that message. Why was the word لَعِبٌ used, why was لَهْوٌ used? Secondly, why the particular word order and not the other way around? Thirdly, why was the placement of the verse in that particular place and not two verses before or after?
The challenge here is if you think this is unimpressive in the Arabic language then show me in the Arabic language how a different word choice can give the same eloquence and retain the exact same depth of meaning. In other words, the precision of word choices such that any other word would not fit in the place of another.
Therefore, you haven't even begun to show why this is not a linguistic miracle. Remember, we're speaking about the Arabic language here and the miracle exists only there because the Qur'an is only in Arabic. Until you can show via the language using its morphology, syntax and grammar why the sentence is flawed or why it can be imitated, until then you have no argument and this applies here and to all other examples as I'll demonstrate.
I'm not even sure what the claim is supposed to be here. Is there anything miraculous about reporting an alleged foretelling of yourself?
Again, back to the basics. It's the word choice and sentence structure.
There doesn't seem to be any miracle claim in this post either. This is apparently a simple explanation of the text and nothing more.
Word choice my friend. In Arabic one can use either وَالِدَيْنِ or اب و ام translated they both mean the same, which obviously is why you fail to see the difference. But in Arabic when you use one and not the other the language provides a different depth of meaning. The linguistic understanding one gets from hearing وَالِدَيْنِ is different from اب و ام and in the verse mentioned اب و ام would not give the intended meaning and depth that وَالِدَيْنِ provides. See the end of this post for why this is important in terms of the language.
This post is more of the same. The Qur'an describes loving relationships in a way that is perfectly ordinary, and again I can see no claim that this is a miracle.
According the scholars of the Arabic language, the language has over 60 different words for love each with a slightly different meaning and connotation. The word used in this verse for love is مَّوَدَّةً, perhaps you can show why this word, مَّوَدَّةً, is not the best word choice for this sentence? Why would any of the other 59 words not be a better fit? Why not محبّة ? Why not any of the following?
[حب ‘Hubb’ is love
[عشق] ‘ishq’ is love that entwines two people together
[شغف] ‘shaghaf’ is love that nests in the chambers of the heart
[هيام] ‘hayam’ is love that wanders the earth
[تيه] ‘teeh’ is love in which you lose yourself
[ولع] ‘walah’ is love that carries sorrow with it
[صبابة] ‘sababah’ is love that exudes from your pores
[هوى] ‘hawa’ is love that shares its name with ‘air’ and ‘falling’
[غرم] ‘gharam’ is love that is willing to pay the price
This is rather a clever use of figurative language, of the kind that can be seen in many works of poetry and fiction. Like the passage from Shakespeare above, it's a good piece of writing, but it's hardly a contravention of the laws of nature.
Refer to the maxim mentioned previously. Perhaps you can bring me something in the language better structured or better worded that gives the same meaning whilst maintaining the same length?
In a similar way to the last three posts, this is merely an explanation of the text (in this case a textual puzzle), and nowhere are we asked to believe that this is somehow a miracle.
In a similar way to the attempted explanations you've been trying to give, you're once again wrong. An explanation is necessary to highlight the spectacular word precision to a non-Arabic speaking forum.
The word Madinah appears in the Qur'an five times but only once do we see Yathrib. Both are a reference to the same city so why use one over the other? Let's see.
Yathrib is the original name of the city, i.e. pre-Islamic name. Madinah is the title of the city after the Prophet (saw) migrated there. The complete title is Madinatun Nabi, i.e. City of the Prophet.
The hypocrites were a problem in the Madinan period. They were fused within the ranks of the Muslims and they were very good at blending in. The only times they would show their true face was during the times of hardship such as when they defected at the time of Uhud. They used to call the city 'Madinah' often as the Muslims used to call it because it showed allegiance to the Prophet (saw). However, like we mentioned before during hardship they exposed themselves. The incident here is during the time of the Battle of al-Ahzab (Battle of the Trench) where the city was surrounded and the Muslims and Madinah was being seiged. Again, as before the hypocrites tried to defect and made their call to the people of Yathrib - thus showing his true allegiance.
A simple usage of 'Yathrib' versus usage of 'Madinah' denotes all this meaning.
This is strange. According to Yasir Qadhi in this
video at 2:05, Surah Yusuf was revealed all in one go, not over 23 years. If Yasir Qadhi is right, this would undermine Qatada's claim here.
I'm pretty sure he was referring to the entire Qur'an when he said 23 years, not specifically Surah Yusuf. Notice he said:
Qur’an wasn’t revealed as a book. It was revealed in parts over 23 years!
'It' in the second sentence refers to 'Qur'an' in the first sentence.
This is the palindrome, which I have already answered.
I haven't seen a sufficient response.
This is a good example of what I mean by the low standards needed for something to be perceived as a miracle in the Qur'an. The way the text I've quoted appears, it almost looks like 'Miracle Sounds' is being set up as a definition for 'onomatopoeia', which is of course not true at all.
Onomatopoeia is one of the most commonly used devices in literature the world over, and to say that using it amounts to a miracle is nothing short of preposterous.
I'll give you that perhaps the way the post was constructed was incorrect. Yet, the examples still remain of the Qur'an does this flawlessly across 6000+ verses.
This is another post directed towards explanation, and again no miracle claim is made.
Have you ever actually listened to the Qur'an? I doubt that because what's being illustrated here is that the rhyme scheme across the Qur'an follows the same methodology. Qatada explains it here:
Part of the characteristics of the Quran is that it is something meant to be recited and heard by the people. When someone is listening to this, and they notice an abrupt change they will automatically pay more attention. The rhyme scheme is not beautification only, but it serves a very real purpose in drawing attention to a very important point in the Surah.
As with everything else, these nuances of the language were known to the people - poets used them but when the Qur'an was recited to them they saw it used in a way that left them astounded. The statements of the reigning Arab poets of the time about the Qur'an are well known and considering the fact that they were authorities in knowledge of the language their testament and in addition their own inability to create something like the Qur'an is enough of a proof that it can't be done.
The feature highlighted this time is a rhyme that occurs at the end of 31 verses, and which is then followed by an abrupt change in the rhyme scheme. The monorhyme technique is well-known and is common in Latin, Arabic and Welsh poetry, and the abrupt change in the rhyme scheme is one of many devices that poets have often used to signal important moments. Again, we are not asked in the post itself to believe that this is a miracle.
The recurrence of similar phrases does not show that the Qur'an is miraculous; it shows that the Qur'an is repetitive
The funny thing is when you sit down and start looking at these repetitions from the linguistic perspective you'll find that the Qur'an hardly has any repetition.
Let's examine one aspect from these two chapters.
In the middle of the chapters we see a repitition of the same story of Adam and how the angels were commanded to prostrate to him and how Satan refused. Quite repetitive right? Let's look at the context. The primary audience of al-Israa' are the Jews and the primary audience of al-Kahf are the Christians. We know this because the first verses of al-Israa speak to the Jews and the first verses of al-Kahf speak to the Christians.
Both groups believe in Adam but both have different mistakes in their beliefs.
In al-Israa' : أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا
Satan says: 'Should I prostrate to one made from clay?'
The Jews didn't believe in the Prophet for what reason? He was not from them.
In al-Kahf: إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ
It says: 'Satan was from al-Jinn who rebelled against the command of his Lord'
The Christians disbelieve for what reason? They believe Jesus is god, they believe Satan is a fallen angel, and they disobeyed the law.
The appropriate lesson from the same story is highlighted to appropriate group of people to teach them the lesson that is relevant to them. This precision is constant through out both chapters down to even word choice. See what I meant when I said the Qur'an is not as repetitive as it may seem?
This is another example of textual explanation; again, no miracle appears to be claimed here.
Explained above. It's funny how every other you're passing of as textual explanation when it's required when the message is being explained to a non-Arabic speaking audience. Just because it's being explained does not take away from the miracle.
Secondly, as Ive said before these are just examples from different places in the Qur'an of it's literary superiority.
Literary structures are composed of many elements that are too numerous to be discussed in detail in this article. They include diction, phonology, rhetoric, composition, morphology, syntax, architecture, rhythm, and style, in addition to matters related to tone, voice, orality, imagery, symbolism, allegory, genre, point of view, intertexuality, intratextual resonance, and other literary aspects – all of which are set within a historical, cultural, intellectual, and psychological context. These elements combine with each other in the Qur’an in myriad ways that produce the Qur’an’s unique character.
This post explains how two different words have been used in the Qur'an to describe two different types of happiness. Is there anything miraculous in this?
Yes. Precision of word choice. Your problem is that you're looking at them as isolated instances whereas this is something that occurs constantly in the Qur'an. The miracle is how it's been done flawlessly in a text that has over 6000 verses!
More textual explanation. Even if you do believe that these are good pieces of writing, that clearly does not make them miraculous.
The word used in the verse is فؤاد which is translated as heart. Another word which is translated the same is قلب . See the problem? Both when translated are the same thing but are completely different in the Arabic language. There is so much lost in translation.
I'll leave you something to ponder over:
Chapter 28, verse 10:
وأصبح فؤاد أم موسى فارغا إن كادت لتبدي به لولا أن ربطنا على قلبها لتكون من المؤمنين
[And the heart
of Moses' mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart
that she would be of the believers.]
The underline portioned of the verse in Arabic and it's translation correspond to each other. Yet the words are different and translated the same. Perhaps you can explain to me the difference?
Do you see the handicap that you have when trying to even understand this in a language other than that of Arabic?
In most of these posts, the miracle claim is so weak that it is not even mentioned. It is as if any
feature of the text at all is welcome in the thread. There is nothing here to persuade anyone who isn't already convinced that there is anything miraculous in the Qur'an use of language.
It's really interesting to see how someone who is ignorant of the Arabic language tries to pass judgment on something he knows nothing about. At the very least, the humble thing to do would be to admit the evident ignorance and go and attempt to learn the language even at a very basic level and then attempt to reexamine the subject after having the necessary prerequisites.
The Arabic language is so rich in it's vocabulary and its rhetorical devices to the extent that for one to come up with something as large as the Qur'an whilst maintaining all the nuances of the language, perfect word precision, perfect usage of grammar, morhpology and syntax is impossible for the human to do. How many times does an author write a chapter only to go back to it and edit? Then once he completes writing a book, how much of an editorial process does it have to go to before it becomes publish-worthy? Even then, there are mistakes and problems and that too in a language as simple as English. Yet the Messenger had only one chance to get it right because the Qur'an was spoken. When you speak you can't take back what you just said nor can you edit it later on. When the Messenger spoke the Qur'an that was it, it was a done deal and that itself is a testament to it's divine nature.
One can never do justice to the Arabic language except in Arabic. Anyway, I don't believe czgibson will get much of the response and that is expected from someone who doesn't understand the language and continue to be adamant in repeating the same [mis]understandings he has. Either way I want to leave whoever is reading this post with a small illustration of the depth of the language by itself:
Ibn Khalawayh said that the Arabs have five hundred names for the lion, and two hundred names for the snake. Whether these names (and others like them) are absolute synonyms is a point of contention among the linguists, but I believe the strongest opinion among them is that there are shades of differences among the meanings of each one and no two mean exactly the same thing.
Some examples of this precision in vocabulary:
A bare dinner table is called a khiwaan خِوان. When it is laden with food it becomes a maa'idah مائدة.
An empty drinking glass is called a koob كوب or a qadah قدح . When it has liquid in it, it becomes a ka's كأس.
The wind that blows between two winds is called a nakbaa' نكباء.
The wind that is so soft it does not shake the trees is called a naseem نسيم.
The verb that describes eating all that is on the dinner table is iqtamma اِقتمّ.
The verb that describes drinking all that is in a vessel is ishtaffa اشتفّ.
The verb that describes an infant drinking all its mother's milk is imtakka امتكّ.
The verb that describes milking a camel of all that is in its udders is nahaka نهك.
The verb that describes taking all the water out of a well is nazafa نزف.
It is no wonder then that some of the jurists said,
كلام العرب لا يحيط به إلا نبيّ
"No one can have full knowledge of the language of the Arabs other than a Prophet."
It is especially important to be aware of these subtleties when their words appear in the Qur'an, for only then can one understand the true nature of the message. In this regard, I present the degrees of sleep in Arabic:
النُّعاس - this is when a person's eyes becomes tired or drowsy and feels the need for sleep. This word was used by Allaah when he gave the Muslims at the Battle of Badr a break before the fighting began to strengthen them, as mentioned in al-Anfal, verse 11,
إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِّنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُم مِّن السَّمَاء مَاء لِّيُطَهِّرَكُم بِهِ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمْ رِجْزَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ الأَقْدَامَ
[Remember] when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the whisperings of Satan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.
It is interesting to note that al-nu'aas was sent to them as opposed to al-wasan, perhaps indicating that while their eyes were given the chance to sleep and rest, their minds remained fit and alert. And Allaah knows best.
الوَسَن - this is when the tiredness intensifies in the head, and it becomes heavy with its need for sleep. Some linguists said the distinction between al-wasan and al-nu'aas is extremely slight in degree, and they only differ in their place (al-nu'aas in the eyes, and al-wasan in the head). The verbal noun is sinah سِنَة as in al-Baqarah, verse 255,
اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ
Allah! none has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither tiredness (sinah), nor sleep overtake Him.
الترنيق which is when sleep pervades a person, without him actually sleeping.
الغُمض which is a state between sleep and wakefulness.
التَّغْفيق which is a state of sleep in which one still able to hear what others say.
الإغْفاء which is a very light sleep.
التهويم or al-ghiraar الغِرار or al-tihjaa' التهجاع all of which refer to a sleep of short duration.
الرُّقاد which refers to a very long sleep, as in al-Kahf, verse 18,
وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظاً وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ
And you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep
and Yaseen, verse 52, 
قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا مَن بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرْقَدِنَا هَذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُونَ
They will say: "Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of sleep." (It will be said to them): "This is what the Most Beneficent (Allah) had promised, and the Messengers spoke truth!"
الهُجود or al-hujoo'
الهجوع or al-huboo'
الهبوع which refer to a very deep sleep.
التسبيخ which refers to the strongest, deepest type of sleep.
السبات which refers to a coma. 
 The marqad مرقد is the noun of place from the same root ر ق د.
 al-tasbeekh comes from the root س ب خ. In light of the previous post on ishtiqaaq note the relationship between the meaning of the word tasbeekh from this root, and the word subaat from the root س ب ت.
Anyway, my intent with this post was to illustrate how ridiculous an attempt looks when it is to aimed to try and refute something in a language other than the language one knows, especially when the matter is about the intricacies of the other language itself. It's a waste of time for everyone and doesn't do justice to the matter being discussed.